Renewed Controversy over the Balfour Declaration
During an address to the United Nations last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that Great Britain issue a formal apology for the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
About three weeks ago Palestinian officials made the same demand, this time in the form of an ultimatum. Unless England disavowed Lord Balfour’s famous decree, cancel plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that historic milestone later this year (November 2), and recognize a State of Palestine—with the obvious implication that if Britain unilaterally accepted a Palestinian State, other nations would follow—the Palestinian Authority would file a lawsuit against Great Britain.
Presumably this pathetic petition would be filed with the International Court of Justice, more commonly called The World Court, ICJ or just The Hague, as this judicial branch of the United Nations is headquartered in Hague, Netherlands. The Palestinian Authority is not a nation; it only has “observer” status (along with the Vatican) in the United Nations. Thus, their lawsuit would have no legitimacy, i.e. one nation’s grievance against another nation. But such things have never deterred Mahmoud Abbas or his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, from their twisted short-term agenda to delegitimize the State of Israel and their warped long-term intent of replacing the State of Israel with yet another Middle East Arab state.
Any such spurious litigation would be akin to the eleven southern states in America that succeeded from the Union—which precipitated the American Civil War—now demanding that the United States Government apologize (tantamount to a retraction) for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. After the Union won the Civil War, that amendment was finally ratified December 18, 1865 as constitutional recognition and support of President Abraham Lincoln’s now famous Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.
The 13th Amendments stipulates: “neither slavery no involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Contrary to Palestinian deceptive distortion of the Balfour Declaration, it was the Emancipation Proclamation of its time. It was a Declaration to officially end Jewish servitude to the Ottoman Empire that ruled Palestine for 400 hundred years. But not only for the Jews; also for the Arabs! However, the Arabs didn’t want freedom and self-governing autonomy if it meant living next to even more Jews who would come to Palestine following the Balfour Declaration.
From its inception the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO founded in 1964)—later named the Palestinian National Authority (since the miserably failed Oslo Accord of 1993)—has sought the destruction of Israel, as found in its Charter, and also contained in the Hamas Charter for the Gaza Strip. Most refer to the Palestinian National Authority as just the Palestinian Authority and rightfully so; there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation or state.
When the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq suffered a resounding defeat in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49, the Six-Day war of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, they came to the stark realization that the Arabs couldn’t conquer the Jews by conventional military warfare. So they turned to unconventional methods, which disgustingly have become all too conventional: BDS, planned terrorist attacks; spontaneous lone-wolf killings of innocent Israelis spawned by incitement from Abbas himself; rockets launched from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip into Israel; elementary and high-school curriculum propagandizing their children to kill Jews and “liberate” Palestine; and rewriting of history with false claims maliciously supported by UNESCO that the Jewish (and even Christian) sacred sites of Israel are Islamic holy sites to include Temple Mount and even the Western Wall.
(See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel, Resolution 2334, posted 1-7-17).
More Repugnant Rhetoric from the Palestinians
Although criticism of the Balfour Declaration has been going on periodically for some time, P.A. President Abbas in the past couple of years has taken his lie-laced vendetta directly to the United Nations. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Tell a Big Lie Long Enough and More Palestinians Lies, posted 10-10-15 & 2-20-16, respectively).
This is an offshoot of another disturbing phenomenon that has taken place in the recent past. From slightly less provocative but still harmful false accusations that the Jews are “illegally occupying” land that “rightfully” belongs to Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas has upped the ante by brazenly suggesting the elimination of the State of Israel altogether. Which has been the real agenda of the Palestinian Authority and even more so of their bitter rival Hamas from the beginning. This is glaringly evident when Abbas speaks in Arabic to his own people and to Islamic nations that hate Israel.
Whereas, in his United Nations speeches and when talking to dignitaries of democratic nations, he tempers this offensive oratory under the guise of more diplomatic, but, nevertheless, ridiculous boasts such as made during his recent meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies, “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”
Less than two years ago, Abbas incited dozens of lone-wolf attacks against innocent Israelis by declaring that Palestinians must not allow the “filthy feet of the Jews” to walk on Temple Mount. In September, 2015, Abbas said that he, “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” Not long afterward the “Knife Intifada” began that also included shooting and car-ramming murder of Israelis.
(Another Example of Mahmoud Abbas’s Duplicity: It’s He Who Issues Threats and Ultimatums)
Regarding a Palestinian State that Abbas really doesn’t want unless Israel capitulates to every single one of his demands, such as East Jerusalem (there is no such thing as east Jerusalem) as the Palestinian capital—when such a capital would more easily and with much less adversarial results be placed in Ramallah—or the return of millions of Arabs currently restricted to so-called refugee camps, here’s what Abbas said not too long ago:
“A Palestinian State like Iraq, Saudi Arabia & other Islam countries, will not have or allow a single Jew to live there.”
(See Eye of Prophecy article, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda, published 9-17-16).
Put that in the context of Israel allowing 1.8 million Arabs to live in Israel. That’s 21 % of Israel’s population of 8.7 million—which does not include Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who have refused citizenship in Israel—who have Israeli citizenship with all the rights of Jewish citizens. Privileges such as voting, serving in the Knesset, owning their own businesses, free movement through the land, and many more autonomous liberties.
Do you think that Abbas would tolerate or agree to a reciprocal action by Israel should a Palestinian State be negotiated; that all Arabs citizens of Israel must leave their homes if they are in whatever new boundaries Israel might end up with. I think not. Nor would the Israelis ever do such a thing. Nor would the majority of those 1.8 million Arabs (citizens of Israel) want to be relocated to or live in a Palestinian State.
As written by Bassam Tawil in his article, Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace” posted in the online Op-Ed news source, Gatestone Institute on May 8: “Apparently, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is convinced that Palestinians can fool ‘all of the people, all of the time’ about their true goals and intentions. Arafat lied to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when he told them that he and the Palestinian Authority were promoting peace and coexistence with Israel.”
Bassam Tawil concludes his article with, “Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists, a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” what, one wonders, would he consider a culture of war?”
If nothing else (there is virtually nothing of any redeeming value within his insidious goals and sinister strategies), Abbas is both clever and brash. He now boldly brandishes a double barrel shotgun. He aims and constantly fires one barrel directly at the Jews; with hammer cocked and the other barrel pointed menacingly at democratic counties such as Great Britain, threatening them with justice under his version of international law … in this case demanding an apology for the Balfour Declaration.
Make no mistake; this is much more than a simple apology. He fully understands that an “apology” would be tantamount to British (and world-wide) sanctions that the Jews don’t belong in Israel … they never had a right to be there in the first place. That the very state of Israel is illegitimate and should give way to a “Palestinian State.”
What Exactly was the Balfour Declaration?
What historical significance does it have, then and now?
Lord Balfour and a handful of others who understood world history in general and Middle East heritage in particular, realistically and accurately identified the ancient hostility between Arab and Jew. To some extent or another, they also grasped or at least sensed the longing of and need for the Jews to once again have a homeland of their own. A few realized that this home must be the Promised Land given to the Jews by God, himself. Accordingly, the Balfour Declaration was the first meaningful attempt to resolve those issues. Which is why Palestinians and Muslims everywhere loathe this historical milestone, one that eventually led to Israel’s Statehood in 1948. Followed by the still ongoing Second Exodus of Jews—this time from nations all over the earth, especially countries to the north of Israel—and Aliyah (ingathering of Jews) to Israel.
(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Second Exodus, posted 5-10-14)
Before we examine the Balfour Declaration more closely, on the authority of Scripture and the clear evidence in secular history that God’s plan and purpose for Israel (and the resulting effect it has had and will have on Gentile nations) has been unfolding precisely according to the Bible, I’m going to make this assertive, yet historically accurate statement … in italics for emphasis:
At that time, the Balfour Declaration was the single greatest event in history since the tragic dispersion of the Jews from Israel when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the beginning fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies guaranteeing the final restoration of Israel and salvation of the Jews. Accordingly, it was also the beginning of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus that involves the entire world as found in his amazing disclosure of the end times while on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.
Said Jesus: “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34).
Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.
Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning. (Italics, also for emphasis).
Scripture is replete with examples of God’s sovereignty in providentially using even tragic events to accomplish his majestic plan for the human race. This plan focuses predominately on Israel and her Messiah (Jesus, who is also the Savior of the Gentiles), beginning with Abraham and continuing until all of Israel acknowledges her Messiah who will return to establish his Kingdom of justice and peace on this earth.
Specifically, I’m talking about World War I (prematurely labeled “The War to End All Wars”) which led directly to the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 issued about one year before the war officially ended on November 11, 1918. God’s sovereign hand was extraordinarily evident in this dramatic declaration, as evidenced by the British forces under Sir Edmund Allenby taking Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks just a few weeks later on December 11, 1917 (on Hanukkah no less)! The British were victorious in this final “battle” of their campaign in Israel with hardly a shot fired, and with no casualties (military or civilian) or damage to Jerusalem that would have been inevitable if the Turks had defended their stronghold in Jerusalem. Instead, the Turks surrendered without a fight. This marked the end of the Ottoman Empire.
(Sir Edmund Allenby Entering Through the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem in December, 1917)
(Sir Edmund Allenby)
Despite the horrors of World War I, the Balfour Declaration was the conception point of Israel’s gestation that would take another 30 years to grow within the womb of history.
Then God turned Jewish anguish and ashes from a Second World War (the horrendous Holocaust that resulted in the slaughter of six million Jews) into the miraculous beautiful birth of Israel. In November, 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution granting the Jews a homeland to call their own. Followed by the (re)birth of the Sovereign State of Israel on May 14, 1948. That was also the beginning of another generation (within a generation) both of which correspond to the final generation mentioned by Jesus.
*Note: There are two time-parameters of a generation found in Scripture. (1) One Hundred Years—see Genesis 15:12-16; (2) Seventy Years—see Psalm 90:10.
Amazingly, the Balfour Declaration was a single paragraph written on November 2, 1917 by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, addressed to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. The letter was to be transmitted to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Here it is (in italics):
His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Nearly five years passed by before this noble proclamation would be officially endorsed by the victorious World War I Allies (including the U.S., Great Britain, and France). On July 24, 1922, this approval was extended by none other than the newly formed League of Nations. The Balfour Declaration was also adopted as official policy by the British Mandate, which gave the United Kingdom jurisdiction over what was still called Palestine. There were Arab attacks and hostile actions against their Jewish neighbors during that time.
What contemporary Muslims and Palestinians (especially the Palestinian Authority and its President Abbas) will rarely mention is that the Arabs, who lived in and outside of Palestine after the implementation of the Balfour Declaration as international policy, flatly rejected the idea of co-existence with Jews in Palestine. On the other hand, the Jews welcomed their Arab neighbors with open arms, and in no way (then or now) violated the terms of the Balfour Declaration that stipulated no “prejudice (against) the civil or religious rights of non-Jewish communities…” Although Lord Balfour didn’t specifically mention Arabs, that’s precisely who he meant.
Time/space doesn’t permit in this week’s article to elaborate on other pre-existing conditions that led to the Balfour Declaration. Except to say that Zionism (the Biblically driven precept that the Jews had every right to and would return to their God-given Promised Land) had been underway for a few decades under the leadership of such visionaries as Chaim Weizmann and Theodore Herzl.
Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.
As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.
The True Agenda of the Palestinians & Muslim Nations & God’s Warning Against Such Plans
Not often does Mahmoud Abbas or Muslim nations hostile toward Israel (which is the vast majority) challenge the UN Resolution of November, 1947, which called for Israel’s acceptance into the family of nations alongside of an Arab State. To do so would be to bite the United Nations hand that feeds and fuels their hostility. They wouldn’t want to risk their incessant use of the United Nations (especially UNESCO) to pass one anti-Semitic resolution after another against the only free, democratic state in the entire Middle East.
Instead, they rail against the Balfour Declaration, the historical catalyst of Israel’s rebirth. To them it’s a much softer target, one that enables them to tell more lies. Such as Britain didn’t have the authority to partition Palestine in 1917. England certainly did have that right. I could write an entire article or two on the subject of post-World War I (and post-World War II) formations of new nations and territories in Europe and the Middle East. And those articles would pale in comparison to the number of historical volumes already written.
(Lord Arthur Balfour)
As with the Balfour Declaration, the Arabs in Palestine rigidly rejected the UN Resolution of 1947 which afforded them another opportunity to create a state of their own next to the State of Israel, after the British Mandate of Palestine expired in May, 1948. These are absolute historical facts that most heads of state and people all over the world either don’t understand or choose to ignore. Plus the fact that nothing has changed with the Palestinian and Muslim mindset toward Israel.
To wit: They don’t want a state next to Israel. They want a state in place of Israel. It’s as simple as that. Yet, what do we hear frequently from world leaders including U.S. Presidents? We hear practically nothing except a two-state solution. That is absolutely the worst thing that could happen. The repercussions would be devastating. Through Scripture, God is crystal clear on that subject.
Listen to God’s stern warning to those who have harmed the Jews and who seek to take away the land he has given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:
“…There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land” (Joel 3:2).
The Promised Land MUST NOT BE DIVIDED.
“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel” (Joel 3:16).
Britain’s Response to Palestinian Authority Demands to Rescind the Balfour Declaration
During the last part of April, 2017, the British Foreign Office representative reaffirmed the British Government’s official response to the absurd Palestinian demand that England, “…openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration.” Based on the preposterous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”
Britain refused to apologize, stating: “We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel.”
Followed by their explanation: “The Declaration was written in a world of competing imperial powers, in the midst of the First World War and in the twilight of the Ottoman Empire. In that context, establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution. Of course, a full assessment of the Declaration and what followed from it can only be made by historians.”
My response to that response: “Amen! Way to go Great Britain!”
However, my enthusiasm is tempered, because the U.K. statement went on to say that the Balfour Declaration should have done more not to “prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This originated first from Lord Warner, member of the House of Lords, who several weeks ago (before the Palestinian Authority regurgitated Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the United Nations) said that Britain should apologize for the Balfour Declaration. He contended that Britain had failed in that endeavor not to “prejudice … rights of the Palestinians” and should apologize for, “…the suffering that failure has caused and try to make amends … with a clear commitment to recognition of a viable independent Palestinian state.”
This never came to a vote in Britain’s Parliament and obviously Britain’s State Department overruled Lord Warner’s slanted sentiment to side with the Palestinians’ demands.
To reiterate: At no time after the League of Nations ratified and implemented the British Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, did the Jews prejudice (and certainly didn’t violate) the civil and religious rights of “non-Jewish communities of Palestine…” Just the opposite occurred when several pogrom style persecutions were launched by the Arabs against the Jews in the 1920s. And, as previously indicated: all-out war was hurled at the reborn State of Israel in 1948.
Concerning the Palestinian Authority’s outrageous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation,” in addition to what I’ve already said regarding the Balfour Declaration, consider the following:
There was no—I repeat for emphasis—absolutely no “Palestinian nation” in 1917 or 1947-48; nor a “Palestinian” people. There were Arabs and Jews living in Israel, the land that a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century capriciously changed from Israel to Palestine for no other reason than to mock the Jews who remained in Israel after the Great Diaspora, by a name that sounded like or resembled Israel’s ancient mortal enemy, Philistia … the Philistines. Not until the PLO was formed in 1964 then even more after the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, did Arabs began referring to themselves as Palestinians. Prior to that if anyone referred to a Palestinian or lawful resident of Palestine, they were referring almost exclusively to the Jews.
When the United Nations passed Israel’s Statehood Resolution in November, 1947, it also included land for an Arab State. Jews reached out to their Arab neighbors and asked them to stay. Their sincere gesture was met with Arab attacks on Jewish villages throughout Israel. This guerilla fighting (at the provocation of the Arabs) continued off and on until Israel became a state on May 14, 1948. One day later, five Arab nations attacked Israel. Arab government and military leaders told the Arabs to evacuate Israel in great numbers, with rationale that the Arab armies would have more room to maneuver and territory to fight the Israelis.
(Original Partition Nearly Equal Between Israel and an Arab State, However, the Judea/Samaria Area–Commonly Called the West Bank–Middle of Map in Yellow, Is Some of the Choicest Land)
Thus, hundreds of thousands of Arabs were “displaced.” Not by the Jews, not by the British, not by the UN Resolution to replace Palestine’s British Mandate with Arab and Jewish States (a two-state solution!); but by direct orders of their leaders who could have accepted a new Arab State rather than immediately attacking the Jews with the express purpose of wiping new-born Israel from the face of the earth.
Other Arabs left to escape the fighting, but mostly because they could not and would not tolerate living alongside Jews … just in case the Jews won the war.
These are the historical facts that so many liberal politicians (and even some conservative) in governments the world over have ignored or simply don’t care to consider as a balance to their tunnel vision effort to eliminate Islamophobia and/or to create a Palestinian State—no matter the cost to Israel’s security and the potential for even more war and bloodshed in the Middle East. As well as Europe and other western nations where Islamic terrorists have transported jihad from the Middle East.
Once again: the Palestinians do not want a state alongside Israel; they want a state instead of Israel. That’s why they rejected the Balfour Declaration, the UN Resolution of 1947, and two generous (but misguided) land offers from former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert early in the 21st century.
(See, A Palestinian State … No, Say Many Arabs! Posted 4-11-14. And, Peace or a Palestinian State … Which Will It Be? Posted 2-27-16)
For all practical purposes, the Palestinians already have a territorial state. In fact, they have two states: one in the West Bank, the other in the Gaza Strip. At the very least they are self-governed to the extent of conducting elections, providing their own police force, and other administrative, economic, social, cultural, and political privileges associated with a self-determining people.
Then there are the 1.8 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel. The vast majority of them don’t want to live in a Palestinian State. They don’t want to give up the liberties and exceptional advantages that Israelis provide through such things as sophisticated electric-power grids, advanced agriculture techniques including incredible drip-systems, excellent and balanced education, technologically progressive medical care, state of the art infrastructure, and a thriving society that provides jobs and a higher standard of living than the average Arab has in virtually any Muslim nation in the Middle East.
(Shaare Zedek Hospital Complex in Jerusalem, Considered One of the Best Treatment Centers in the World. Israel Also Provides Medical Care to Palestinians, Syrians Wounded in Their Civil War & Arabs From Surrounding Nations)
Certainly, the Balfour Declaration was the “right and moral thing to do.” But it was more than that. Whether Lord Balfour realized it or not, his courageous initiative to speak for both Britain and the Jews was an acknowledgment and affirmation of God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his powerful plan for Israel and the nations. One that absolutely will come to pass including the fall of nations who seek to harm Israel, and the success of those who support the Jews in their journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.
Please, don’t miss next week’s Part II article. You’ll see more astounding implications of the Balfour Declaration from a broader prophetic perspective … a vista to show that we are living in the last days of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus, himself.
Things to Ponder
The world’s attention on Israel is absolutely amazing. Never in world history have so many nations been so passionately focused (positive or negative, for or against) on one tiny country. Hardly a day goes by without a prominent leader from countries both big and small spouting rhetoric and rendering opinions about Israel and her place on planet Earth.
For example: In just the past few days, Germany’s President Frank Steinmeier echoed the uninformed but, nonetheless, persistent verbiage of many other dignitaries, saying that a two-state solution was “truly urgent.” U.S. President Trump, known world-wide for making deals, declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be the “ultimate deal.”
Read with me three of many Bible prophecies written long ago regarding Israel’s destiny and the fate of nations and peoples opposed to her:
“And give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all…” (Ezekiel 37:21-22).
Through another prophet, God declared:
“…This message is from the Lord who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:1-3).
“For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9, italics for emphasis).
I am convinced beyond any doubt that we are living in the Omega (last) Generation. A generation destined for such a time as this … “that day” which is the soon-to-come great and glorious Day of the Lord.
(*Please take a few more minutes to watch this stirring video of our United States Marines singing along to one of the greatest modern Christian songs ever composed.)